Raiders address offensive line early in 7-round mock draft by NFL Network

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Marcus Mosher
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We are just a few days away from the 2021 NFL draft and we still have no idea what the Raiders will do in the first round. The biggest obstacle for Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock in this draft is figuring out how to sequence the draft so they can improve their offensive line and defense.

The biggest need on the roster remains at right tackle, as Brandon Parker or Sam Young would likely be the team’s starter if they were forced to play a game today. However, free safety remains a big need as Gus Bradley asks that player to play a big role on the defense.

So how can the Raiders effectively address both spots? Well, it might be by going offense early and then defense the rest of the way.

In a recent mock draft by Chad Reuter of NFL.com, he has the Raiders addressing their offensive line early and then using most of their draft capital on Day 2 and 3 to fix the defense.

No. 17 – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
No. 48 – Richie Grant, FS, Central Florida
No. 79 – Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
No. 80 – Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee
No. 121 – Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU
No. 162 – Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU
No. 167 – Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
No. 200 – Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB

If the Raiders were able to pull off a draft like this, they would be a significantly better team entering camp. Jenkins would be a Day 1 starter at right tackle and Grant could start at free safety. Both players would improve their respective positions dramatically and would be significant upgrades over what’s currently on the roster.

Werner and Smith would both compete for rotational spots and could easily be starters by 2022. Vincent, Shelvin and Hubbard would all be key backups and it’s not hard to envision ways they could contribute right away.

A draft like this would be a franchise-altering haul for the Raiders. Let’s hope Gruden and Mayock are able to pull off something like this at the end of the week.

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